U.S. and China seek to improve relations
US-China relations

U.S. and China seek to improve relations

U.S. and China hold positive talks in bid to mend relations

Possibility of restored military communication

Top officials from the United States and China engaged in productive discussions over the weekend in Malta, signaling a potential shift toward stabilizing their strained relationship. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, with both sides describing the talks as "candid, substantive, and constructive." These meetings, held on September 16-17, offer hope for improved relations between the world's two largest economies.

Additionally, there are early indications that previously severed military communications between the two nations may be on the path to restoration, as per a senior Biden administration official. However, Chinese officials have not yet commented on this possibility.

Foundation for Biden-Xi meeting

These discussions mark the latest in a series of high-level exchanges between US and Chinese officials. They could serve as a stepping stone for a meeting between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping later this year. This diplomatic effort comes amidst significant developments within the Chinese government, including the disappearance of the defense minister and economic challenges that have garnered international attention.

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The talks in Malta, spanning approximately 12 hours over two days, touched on various topics. Both sides agreed to maintain high-level exchanges and engage in consultations regarding Asia-Pacific affairs, maritime issues, and foreign policy.

Critical issues and future engagement

The United States expressed its readiness to collaborate with China on issues such as counter-narcotics, artificial intelligence, and climate change. However, it also voiced concerns about unspecified Chinese support for Russia and recent Chinese fighter jet movements near the Taiwan Strait. China, in response, emphasized the sensitivity of the Taiwan issue, considering it a "red line" in Sino-US relations.

The White House indicated a commitment to future meetings and high-level engagement, emphasizing the importance of this strategic channel of communication in the coming months. The next potential opportunity for Biden and Xi to meet is at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco in November.In recent months, US officials have undertaken various efforts to improve relations and maintain open communication with China, as tensions flared after a US military incident involving a Chinese surveillance balloon. The last meeting between Biden and Xi took place in 2022 during a G20 summit in Indonesia.

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